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Ballmer: Apache is simply better 123

Armin writes "Microsoft's Steve Ballmer praised the Apache Webserver in a key note this weekend in Austria. Article is in German, use babelfish."
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Ballmer: Apache is simply better

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...since a quad Xeon with gigs of RAM is barely enough for a single site, right? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who the fuck cares where server is physically at?
    The point is that the audience is international - NOT American.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think Steve's trying to motivate
    his own people to try harder and do
    better. The coup of Nathan M. over
    the weekend is the same thing.

    For all of his (many, many) faults,
    I think Ballmer would really like it
    if Microshit became Microsoft, instead
    of being proud that they dominate being
    Microshit. In that way, he's different
    than most of senior management in Redmond.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Whats wrong with user customization and dynamic content generation? As I recall those are both very powerful site development tools, especially for businesses to actually conduct business on the net.

    Not to mention they have all those wonderful uses like creating sites like /.

    You'd prefer nothing but static pages on the net?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    All of this is why any major company that plans on hosting sites that require millions of hits per day should use IIS on a nice beefy machine.

    If you work for a multi-million companby and want to support that much load, then you should definitly have evaluated the high-end Unix servers (Sun, SGI, HP, ...) ; if you ever happen to have any problem with your IIS/NT, you might not look too smart in front of your management, which could fairly easily discover that major sites are running that on that kind of servers.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmm.. fastest yes, but I'm not sure about best.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is find out what the top 100 websites(hits) at run and average out the results.
    I just checked a couple, but seems most of them run Apache.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Its interesting that a Microsoftie might post something talking about un-biased testing ( Mindcraft?). I seem to remember that Apache running properly usually beats IIS handily in most reviews.

    Check out the SpecWeb numbers which is an unbiased organization.

    Don't look at the HP beta IIS 5.0 numbers running on an unreleased BETA Operating System. Look at IIS 4.0 on NT 4.0 results. IBM shows that IIS is a tad slow...

    If one wanted to compare beta unreleased Web Servers ( Apache 2.0 ) on the Unreleased BETA Operating system, I'd bet that the IIS 5.0 numbers would look a bit slow.

    But we have to wait for IBM to get the released version of the BETA Operating System to run Apache 2.0 ( I'd bet its out with a release version before the BETA Unreleased Operating System is...)

    Then you can't do a few tricks that... oops... didn't make the final because they weren't stable.

    Anyway, the net result is that Apache is not only the fastest, but the most stable Web Server of the three mentioned earlier. ( Apache, Netscape & IIS) I know there are a few others who claim speed like
    Zeus, but among the three market share leaders, Apache should claim all three.

    Interestingly enough there are a lot of major companies rallying around Apache. Don't forget IBM offers Apache in dozens of products, Apple in OS X, Siemens on their systems, and many others.....

    The story about spending money on Netscape (is that Sun now?) is a moot point for most IT managers.

    Apache will continue to climb in share in virtually every segment of the market.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:28AM (#1873218)
    Use []. The link given to didn't work for me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 1999 @06:40AM (#1873219)
    He surely doesn't say stuff like this without having a motive.

    It's generally been agreeded upon in the Linux community that part of the reason Linux scored so low in the Mindcraft benchmarks was due to performance problems with Apache. By openly praising Apache, MS is attempting to point a finger of blame back at Linux.

    MS doesn't do anything, or say anything, without the motive to promote their position in the market and/or spread FUD about their competitors.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:42AM (#1873220)
    Ballmer is not saying Apache is better. He is saying Apache is better to host multiple web sites on a single physical machine. If you look at the market and the next push, that aspect is irrelevant.

    He did not say Apache was faster nor did he say Apache had more features. This he will never say because that would actually admit IIS does not work as well.

    Why is he doing double talk? Simple think in context of DOJ. The judge in the DOJ case cannot distinguish the difference in what makes a best server. All the judge sees is competition. So to the judge there is competition and no case.
    (I read the court proceedings and have to say that they could have nailed MS's butt to the wall if they were more technically savy)

    And lets not forget, what does Ballmer do in Microsoft? Marketing!!! Bill G is good, but the real marketing brain is Ballmer!!!! So he would never admit such a thing without an ulterior motive.

  • Ballmer is not saying Apache is better. He is saying Apache is better to host multiple web sites on a single physical machine. If you look at the market and the next push, that aspect is irrelevant.

    Not only that. He also said that IIS w/ Win2000 will solve that last problem.

  • from: Netcraft [] is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on Solaris is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98

    You're 1/2 right...

  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @11:36AM (#1873223) Homepage Journal
    Also, if I am not mistaken, Germany already _legally_ _requires_ government-funded computers to be Windows boxes. Germany is perhaps the safest place for Ballmer to be making such statements, because the government already outlaws Linux, Macs, OS2 etc with regard to 'what the government is literally paying for'. If this is in error please correct it. It is not illegal to own a Mac or run Linux in Germany: you simply cannot get one by government subsidy, if you are working for the government or getting an education grant there is only Windows.
  • by avm ( 660 )
    IMO, NOT a good idea at all. A server daemon should remain in user-space...accessing kernel-space from say, a webserver, could be a security nightmare waiting to happen.

    As far as speed goes, what's the price you're willing to pay for that speed boost IIS appears to offer over Apache? Frequent reboots and the inability to handle high loads sort of tip the scale in Apache's favor, not to mention that IIS is inseparably tied to ONE underlying OS.
  • Posted by wnp:

    Actually, before anyone gets their pants (or
    something else) all in knots, let me make this

    Ballmer said Apache was better than IIS "in hosting more than one site on a single computer",
    i.e. as a virtual server.

    That's ALL he said, he didn't say it was generally
  • Even if they are running it on Solaris (or Linux or whatever), and they already have the talent/hardware to run Apache, they won't. They'd rather pay for Netscape than use Apache for free. Because if Apache doesn't cost money, how can it be worth anything?

    Don't stereotype every company with this statement. Where I work, we've been using NS server (on Solaris) for both internal and external web sites because the people in marketting were in control of server maintenance. They wanted a nice, simple, easy interface, and NS has that.

    My boss and I (UNIX/Net admins), however, were finally given control over the server (and marketting gets content). I've already started planning the switch to Apache, and no one has any issues with it. (One of the marketting guys mistakenly brought up "well, if everyone can see the source code, it must be less secure because they can find the bugs!" ... guess how long it took me to correct him?) We're switching for various reasons, mostly because Apache is good (and free), I've been using Apache since it was the NCSA server (and therefore prefer using it), and the version of NS that we have isn't Y2K compliant.

    Anyway, point is that not all companies are run by PHB type managers. Some places actually leave the technical decisions to those of us with technical expertise.

  • Here is a possible translation of the German text:

    Today Microsoft President Steven Ballmer admitted something the most Windows users already know.
    "All of our products are shite, we know that but quite frankly we don't care. We have a monopoly and our customers are stupid, they are trapped on our platform and have to use what we give them. It doesn't matter that products like Apache are better than ours. If some one creates a better product we just bundle our inferior one with the next upgrade that they are forced to install. We know most people are lazy and will not bother to download and install a better product if one comes with the system."

    Please note, I don't speak or read German, but I can read between the lines and that's what I saw there :)
  • by DrZiplok ( 1213 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @10:54PM (#1873228)
    This is, of course, why Microsoft use Apache on an open-source operating system ( FreeBSD []) on their massive Hotmail [] cluster. You can verify that here []. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is pushing these servers to their limits in a production environment. When it comes down to it, the key issues are flexibility and reliability, and there you'll find that Apache is the market leader for a very good reason.
  • Linux 2.2 has this in the form of the sendfile() API.
  • Blah Blah Blah
    I have Apache doing the same with three Ultra 2's, which are actually a hell of lot cheaper then than the Quad x86 servers even including the load balancing system. Why you have the whole thing on FDDI is a mystery to me though.
  • is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on Solaris

    Yes, but is NT is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98

    But is using a proxy ( Inktomi Traffic-Server [] - telnet to port 80 if you don't believe me) to spread the load over several machines and divert traffic from crahsed hosts.

    According to Netcraft this is Solaris based. And of course this (and the database) is the part that really needs to be crashproof.

  • I wrote is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on Solaris

    Yes, but is NT

    I meant of course. I even previewed it but missed that.

  • by cjr ( 2590 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @07:58AM (#1873234)
    Following in the tracks of Bill Gates who was touring European government leaders earlier this year to make them support Microsoft's monopoly, especially in all forms of education, Ballmer is now launching a second wave of attack.

    Eines der erklärten Anliegen Microsofts in Europa ist es, "die Regierungen zu ermutigen, das schwedische Modell zu prüfen."

    So what is this "Swedish model" that Microsoft is pushing?

    Die schwedische Regierung bietet seit 1996 zusammen mit Hard- und Softwareproduzenten [HP, Microsoft] sowie InternetProvidern komplette EinsteigerPakete angeboten, die den Gesamtanteil an PCs innerhalb kurzer Zeit signifikant gehoben hatte.

    Uh oh, but then Mr. Ballmer is pushing a regulatory actions of states, which pushes the warez of specific vendors, in casu Microsoft. I wonder if Mr. Ballmer knows that his collegues think the US government is doing something similar for Netscape - and how they feel about this.

    Ballmer "expects" StarDivision to disappear, thereby of course further driving the market in Office suites towards total domination by Microsoft.

    OEM's can license StarOffice far cheaper than MS Office and many Linux users such as myself have discovered that StarOffice allows them to do everything they wish an Office suite to do - which is often merely reading their managers' documents or providing simple documents themselves.

    Naturally, Mr. Ballmer would gladly see a package with such price/performance marks disappear so he "predicts" that this will indeed happen. He effectively tells potential customers to focus on the ability of StarDivision to withstand Microsoft's market power, rather than on product quality.

    Aside from stimulating pro-Microsoft regulation and spreading FUD, Ballmer's method to take in government leaders clearly consists of flattering them: "Viktor Klima kommt ja aus der Programmierer-Ecke. Ich glaube, wir werden in Österreich auf offene Ohren stossen."

  • Once you start building an ASP-based solution, you're stuck. You have nowhere else to turn. The cost of converting to Perl or JavaScript is just too high. You've walled yourself into a proprietary solution.

    i dont really want to get into a technical bunfight. i've used both ns and ms solutions and for ease of use the ms solution (asp, odbc and vbs) is a lot quicker to develop. as for the asp solution being a dead-end yeah to a point - there are alternative servers on unix via but the cost/cpu makes this uneconomical.

    if yr careful designing with asp and not hard code asp within html porting (java) is certainly a possibility, but most would simply re-write. how many companies still use ns-server? (not including the free version)? if u go for a job developing theres less of a demand wrt being able to develop for 'unix' webservers compared to asp. the choice is real simple.

    I'd pick Netscape
    i'll make allowences for you, as u work there. damn i wish u guys would get an alternative in the market to ms in the web browser market!
  • Huh? I think you're quoting vapor here. The sendfile() acts more like a "copyfd()" now. If you need to make sure not to generate a small packet of TCP headers and then data, there is TCP_CORK for setsockopt().
  • In the classic market model, when competition is recognized then prices drop.

    Has MS lowered the price of IIS recently?

  • It's rather simple - you see, by getting headlines, like "Apache is better" the article about Ballmers little speech made it to and slashdot. I guess, that quite a few people in the US will know about that speech.

    Trust me, Microsoft will make these statements be heard in front of the court.

  • by Glytch ( 4881 )
    Apache's configuration/setup totally blows. Who in thier right mind would want to use some external program ( nasty text editor ) to configure a webserver with?

    Of course. You're absolutely right. We should all give up our "nasty text editors" and use Wizards. After all, an M$ program would know more about optimizing performance than a trained professional, right?

    IIS is way much easier to setup and maintane. It seems to be faster on my dual PII than apache does as well.

    If it's faster for you, good for you. But please don't assume that we're all mindless M$ drones who are incabable of actually thinking.

  • Thanks... For once, BabelFish didn't manage to get a clean translation (usually, it makes it readable, but not good). Even _I_ (with my tiny bit of school German) found the German version easier to read than the BabelFish `english' one. But of course, your translation was more than good enough.

    /* Steinar */
  • I am sure that some people might buy netscape's web server as a standalone package. On the other hand, I can see that if you've got the money for a commercial web server, then you are likely to buy the other components that make up suitespot (or whatever its called these days).

    It is when you have a number of netscape components and you put them together that you start to see the attraction that it may have over the raft of free (as in speech) equivalents.

    The most attractive feature is the incredibly tight integration of components such as LDAP, mail + web. (Calendaring leaves a lot to be desired - it would be nice if they shipped command line tools that actually worked with Calendar) This level of integration makes things like user account maintanence _much_ easier. All the accounts exist in one place.. you can turn on what they can access, turn off access, etc from one place. Netscape's server does have other nice features - but I'm not a Netscape salesperson, so i shan't bore you with them :-)

    Implementing a similar system with openLdap/(sendmail|exim|qmail)/apache+mod_auth_lda p/etc is (a) much more difficult and (b) nowhere near as easy to maintain. I can say this from experience - having set up a netscape-only house, and a free software only house.

    But that is not to say that netscape's solution is entirely wonderful. You can end up waiting for bug fixes (quite a long time in the case of a certain set of bugs that afflicted its mail server), as well as losing the flexibility that you have to tweek things with apache. We've ended up using a hybrid solution here - netscape's ldap server (which is superior to openldap), their mail server (mainly because it integrates well with LDAP), and apache for web serving because it allows us much more flexibility in terms of producing web based applications.

    And, as another poster mentioned... mod_perl - I am sure that it has a use.. but really, PHP is a _much_ nicer, _much_ cleaner solution. I look forward to Zend (the new PHP engine)...
  • Some of this stuff might be for domestic US DOJ case consumption. Balmer might think it adds credibility when its said outside US so NO ONE would suspect any ulterior motive. Just a thought.
  • That's because MS was naughty and ripped chunks of the BSD TCP stack.
  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:54AM (#1873244)
    This is what they do with the HPFS386 installable filesystem and SMB services. It is what allows Warp Server to blow NT out of the water serving files. Parts of it are actually written in assembly code. Do you want to do that with a web server? I think this is where Linux shines. The OS is tight, small, and simple so OSS works because you can have user space code running quite fast. So far all the tests I've seen pitting NT IIS to Linux/Apache were for static pages and there are far better choices on Linux for that type of web server. Anybody seen Apache and IIS tests running dynamic pages?
  • And on the other hand, I sit here with a sluggish MC68030
    with linux, apache and a few databases, and it works just
    dandy for my use.

    So your point is?

  • I would take a guess that the next step M'soft would try is a Tar Baby stratagy. Each new generation/upgrade of product will introduce new features that will have to be reverse engineered. This way they can claim that OSS will always be behind the times etc. etc.

    This is to imply that this is not their primary strategy already? And that it's starting to backfire as more and more companies demand open standards?
  • This is called sendfile() (or HRESULT FAR* _std zpqvBrgvzplz0SendFile32Ex4 on windows). Most OS's have it now, and it's readily admitted on the kernel-dev list that Linux's implementation is BROKEN, and will probably remain so until sometime in 2.3
  • > Apache's configuration/setup totally blows. Who in thier right mind would want to use some external program ( nasty text editor ) to configure a webserver with? IIS is way much easier to setup and maintane.

    Profesionals. Who are literate and can actually read and understand a textfile.
  • nothing wrong with dynamic pages -- but you have to put a bit of a limit to them. I'd say a good rule of thumb is, make them dynamic when they truly need to change for each user, and pre-compute everyhthing that doesn't. I think it's quite stupid to do a (data, template) merge at every hit if there's just one or two possible templates for that page, and you could have done it instead at the time the data was entered or the page was changed. then again, a lot of web programmers seem to disagree.
  • duh. if you're going to compare ISAPI to something, be fair and compare it to Apache's module API. CGI is dead old and slow, if you have CGI scripts, at least convert them to FastCGI or something like that. From the tests I've seen, Apache and IIS are not far away at all in terms of speed. Apache is faster at some things, IIS at others, but the difference isn't great anywhere. IIS doesn't outperform Apache "in every imaginable way", and for fsck's sake, even Steve Ballmer admits that in the article that started this thread.

    my take is that raw speed is a bit of a red herring. 5% more or less in speed won't let you use the same box for much longer, if your site grows; in other words, you don't want to be within 5% or 10% of your machine's max throughput. so if it's too much for a single server, yes, install several ones, whether it's Apache or IIS, Linux or FreeBSD or Solaris or Tru64 or NT. Just give them each one IP, and several A records for your hostname, and make them all access the same DB server if there's a DB. btw, web servers typically don't need SMP, they do need lots of RAM (and I do mean lots) and a fast processor, but SMP isn't usually the best way to throw money at a webserver. by the time a PII-450 with 256Mb of RAM is getting hammered, I'd say first optimize your stuff a bit (like, serve your images from a separate Apache process with minimal options and no mod_{perl,php3}, then start thinking about getting more servers. putting the images on a separate box, for example ; that doens't even need any load balancing.

    also: stability is much more important than speed, if only because it's much harder to see problems coming. if you absolutely want the very best speed, then there are faster alternatives than Apache; start by looking at Roxen. but I'd keep Apache anyway.

  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @08:02AM (#1873252) Journal
    Why is he doing double talk? Simple think in context of DOJ.

    Wha? How would the anti-trust Judge even be aware of a speech Ballmer made in Austria? Especially since the only press report is in German. Considering that Microsoft is offering evidence right in front of him in a court of law, I don't think the PR war concerns the judge that much.

    What's more likely is that Ballmer is offering PR to a group of somewhat skeptical resellers. If he went in front of a technical audience and shouted "Windows - Right or Wrong!", he'd completely lose crediblity. By conceeding a some minor points, he can make a more convincing case for windows 2000.

    {What computer consultants think is much more important to Microsoft's day-to-day business right now than the anti-trust case, which will probably bounce around in court for the next 10 years.}
  • Could this be a ploy to get people to deploy Windows 2000 sooner since it has "better hosting" than NT 4. Otherwise people might take the wait and see strategy.
  • The reason why Apache is better is because its tried-and-proven software. M$ might be pumping out higher-quality software if they spent more time listening to their slaves^H^H^H^H^H^Husers and less time putting their feet in their mouths by saying stuff like "Apache is better."

    Ballmer said it himself, "we do not offer our servers enough features to justify the price." Apache has got to have the best bang:buck ratio around just by virtue of its being free software.

    IIS will never have the feature set of Apache, because NT is braindead. UNIX and its (Free|Net)BSD/Linux cousins give you integration with Perl, Python, C, shellscript, etc -- the languages you already know. Try learning ASP in a few days to make a dynamic website. Good luck, you'll probably need to run to and order a few $90 phonebook-size tech books from the Microsoft Press.

  • The motive is simple -- selling more licenses. The proposition is that if you want to host multiple websites on one system you need "unsupported" non-commercial freeware, whereas the Microsoft Supported Solution is to install more servers, with more copies of Windows NT, etc.
  • ...then we could redo the mindcraft test much fairer than before, with results that can be considered "real world"!

    Its very simple: take two identical computers that are in the typical performance category of a webserver. Make sure there are no outstanding hardware issues for either Linux or NT, and then put apache on both of them! Configure it identically for both platforms, and connect them both to a mix of unix, NT, and win95 clients. And use dynamic content, so the operating systems have to actually do some calculating operations instead of just shoving data through a huge pipe.

    I think numbers like that would be useful indeed.
  • which kernel would that be?
    FreeBSD? Linux? maybe NT?
    You apache is not for one platform only...

    Also, you seem to forget that web serving IS NOT a job for the kernel anyway.

  • by webslacker ( 15723 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @07:47AM (#1873260)
    Remember when Mindcraft ran their second test and NT still outperformed Linux? Remember when everyone was complaining that it wasn't a fair test because they used Apache on Linux instead of Zeus? Remember everyone saying that Apache is a good, flexible server but not the fastest, and that if they had run the Mindcraft test on Zeus, Linux woulda kicked NT's ass?

    Now, Microsoft is praising Apache and saying it's a great webserver. What do you think they're up to?
  • Somebody needs to write a transition document to help people convert from IIS to Apache. The file naming can easily be delt with by find / perl scripting. Potential gotchas could also be pointed out via the scripts, simple ones corrected, while major ones flagged. I unfortunatly can't do this as I've never used IIS. It would need to be a group of people who want to make the IIS to Apache switch colaborating to make the trasition manual and scripts.
  • I would take a guess that the next step M'soft would try is a Tar Baby stratagy. Each new generation/upgrade of product will introduce new features that will have to be reverse engineered. This way they can claim that OSS will always be behind the times etc. etc.
    Another tactic will be to compare performance on an OSS offering that will show them in the most favorable light. As the OSS community has an embarrassment of riches in terms of offerings tuned to particular needs ( faster, or smaller, or standards compliant, or trying new techniques), it should be simple for them to produce an apples to oranges comparison. The response should be considered: If this is your major care-about; use package X or Y. We need a map to compare different solutions, or it will be argued that there is just too much to choose from....
    Two closing points: There is such a thing as damning with faint praise; and Embrace and Extend looks like Engulf and Devour......
  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @10:17AM (#1873263)
    The competition between Apache and Netscape is interesting because they so rarely compete. The best way to sum up this up is to quote a sysadmin friend of mine. He said, "If I was going to run a website myself, I'd pick Apache. It's powerful and fast and stable. But if I had to run a site for a company, I'd pick Netscape. Hiring people qualified with whatever flavor or Perl/Apache/UNIX/mod_perl I choose is too hard and too expensive."

    Ogren hit the nail on the head with the first quote, and I can prove it. Take a look at [] and then [] .

    And while I agree that hiring UNIX geeks with the right mix of skills can be a daunting task, the last statement really doesn't address the true root of the "problem" (the problem being that people don't get to use Apache): IT managers and bean counters are still scared about the supposed lack of support with OSS. Especially when it has to run their web site (even though their ftp site might be run by OSS, they couldn't care as long as "their Internet" doesn't go down). Using a possible lack of qualified talent as an excuse for Netscape Server's existence is really feeble.

    I don't remember where I heard this, but it's been shown that people won't buy things if those things' selling price doesn't match or exceed what the buyer believes it ought to cost. If I was selling Mont Blanc pens for $10, would you buy one? If Mont Blanc itself sold them for $10, do you think they would be as popular as they are? Part of what makes $20 cigars so good is that they cost $20, and you can tell yourself and your friends that you're smoking really pricey cigars and that you're a big shot because of it. It doesn't make the cigars taste any better in the same way that Bic pens write just as well as the more expensive models.

    When people buy Netscape servers, they want to feel the same way. Even if they are running it on Solaris (or Linux or whatever), and they already have the talent/hardware to run Apache, they won't. They'd rather pay for Netscape than use Apache for free. Because if Apache doesn't cost money, how can it be worth anything? (And usually after that thought, they trot out that "no support" thing as a final excuse they know they can use and get away with without looking like a clueless idiot.) The the only reason people run Netscape servers on any UNIX is because the decision makers/PHBs don't know any better.


  • SlashDot moderators these days are not doing their job. This is as much flamebait as the ones about how IIS is better than apache because of the gui administration, yet this one gets marked up rather than down. I wish these slashdot moderators learn that just because you don't agree with someones viewpoint, it doesn't mean that they need to be marked down or because you agree with the viewpoint that you should mark up.
  • It's pretty easy to find though. It's right where he states: Windows 2000 will solve the problem. "Just wait until Y2K, folks. Win2K will beat everything." Reminds me of their tactics when OS/2 Warp came out... :-/

    This is a translation done by hand, which is still better than BabelFish [] so far:

    Apache's simply better
    We're to blame if we don't bundle enough features with our servers to justify our price tag. Apache's simply better than us if it comes to hosting several sites off one server. Windows 2000 will solve this problem.
  • Well, although this (as many astute linux evangelists has already pointed out) reads like FUD, there's a good point concealed within. Yes, no matter how much we hate to admit it, IIS can solidly trounce Apache on an ultra-mega-high-end system. The Mindcrafy study wasn't slanted because of their bias, so much as it was slanted because of Apache, and IIRC, non-Mindcraft reports have verified this.

    So, let's see.. Micros~1 takes the one UN*X-oriented product that their parallel NT-oriented product has undecidedly beaten in the public eye (if not in the full useful sense of the word `beaten'...IIS won't run on the Sparc-20 I work with, so Apache has one clear advantage there), and pats it on the back as the best Linux thing around?.. Let's see.. so where does that put Microsoft? Solidly above Linux, that's for sure!

    Damning through faint praise, they call it.


    (not that apache's not a fine product.. but look at the full scope..)

  • Is it possible that Microsoft is more admitting to their
    inferiority overseas.. due (in part) to the Europeans being
    less tolearant and more observant.
    Do they believe that (since we speak US English) we'll not hear about what they do over there?


    Are these Microsoft reps speaking english at these conventions? and if not... do they understand what they are saying or are they just reading it? heh.. makes you wonder who writes the speeches if they don't understand it.

  • Considering the following:
    - Linux is used by 43% of all Web/News/FTP-Servers in Germany
    - SuSe Linux is "made" in Germany
    - 1/4 of all europen Internet Citizens are Germans
    I cannot believe, Linux is "outlawed" in Germany, maybe the opposite is true.

    I'm from Italy, and I may assure you, in my country Linux isn't outlawed, but used quite everywhere.

    BTW: Ballmer was talking in Austria, not Germany
  • According to Netcraft's Web Server Survey [], 57% of the web runs Apache in May 1999. IIS is at 23%. If Microsoft wanted to capture more marketshare, they could try to ease migration from Apache to an "enterprise solution" running NT/IIS. However, Microsoft has not done this. IIS insists on using tons of proprietary stuff like ASP.

    Microsoft must know that people run Apache for good reasons and would never switch to NT/IIS. Also, if IIS allowed easy migration from Apache, then migration from IIS to would also be easy. Microsoft does not want to risk walking "near the edge" of open technologies.

  • What is he up to this time?
    He surely doesn't say stuff like this without having a motive.

    I know and like Apache but it can be better in some areas. On Linux Zeus is usually faster serving flat pages and IIS is overall a bit faster than Apache on NT.

    Best regards,
    Steen Suder
  • The oft-suggested OSS response is to quit playing "catch Mircosoft" and start (or continue) producing software that follows independent, open, technically superios solutions.

    I don't object to the many OSS programmers who are working on MS compatibility, but I think the suggestion above is what will ultimately result in a "win" for us.

  • I have yet to understand why anyone thinks ease of administration is such a big bonus... Apache is not hard to configure... There are gui's, but anyone worth what they are getting paid has figured out how easy it is to edit a text file... Your reason for why IIS is good is my exact reason why it's bad. Anything that is flexible and powerful is not simple. it's a fact of life. Unix is difficult because of it's power and flexibility. With NT, microsoft gives everyone the impression that any idiot can run it, so companies hire some idiot. Then this person doesn't know what they're doing, and it's the company that's really loosing out. A system is only as good as the person who runs it. If your argument for IIS is that idots can run it, well, that should tell you something right there.
  • by AT ( 21754 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:33AM (#1873274)
    English translation (from babelfish):

    Ballmer: Apache is simply better

    Microsoft vice Steve Ballmer praised the competition product Apache Webserver in a key note expressly: " do not offer if we with our servers enough features, which justify our prices, are we ourselves debt. Apache is simply better than we, if it concerns, several Sites on a server to hosten ", like that Ballmer with its speech in Vienna for the conception of Office 2000. The WWW server Apache maintained by an open project is a competitor of the Microsoft Internet information server (IIS), a constituent of Windows NT sound Netcraft has the Apache server a spreading of 56, IIS against it only 23 per cent. (jo/ c't)
  • He went about saying it wrong, but Apache's configuration setup is not impressive.

    It is so much easier to install and setup IIS / Netscape Enterprise Server / O'Riley WebSite than Apache on a Windows NT. IIS's security tied directly into NT's user manager is nice too.

    Although I can edit text files to do the same things, I'd much rather use a web based configuration tool like Netscape's Administration server.

    Even though Apache/Linux is probably a better web server than NT/IIS, many small businesses are turned off from Apache/Linux because it is so difficult (for a 'normal' user) to set-up and maintain. A real effort should be made to add web-based management to apache.

    Don't shoot down someone just because he is a little pro-MS.
  • I believe I mentioned the physical location of the server being the United States.
  • by McFarlane ( 23995 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @06:24AM (#1873277)
    /. is not in the U.S. whine-boy

    the guys who run slashdot and the equipment its hosted on are in the U.S.

    /. is on the Internet - national borders are something we are trying to overcome here

    usually when someone posts an article here that links to a non-english article you'll find people rushing to try and get the "best" translation out...

    here's my attempt:

    ************************************************ **

    Ballmer: Apache is simply better

    Microsoft-VP Steve Ballmer, speaking in a Keynote address, openly praised the Apache Webserver, a competing product: "If we don't offer enough features to justify our pricing, we have only ourselves to blame. Apache is simply better than us, when it comes to hosting several sites on a single server", said Ballmer during a speech in Vienna introducing Office 2000. The Open Source WWW Server Apache is a competitor of Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), a component of Windows NT. According to Netcraft Apache has a 56% share of websites versus IIS which has only 23%.

    ************************************************ **
  • This is called sendfile() (or HRESULT FAR* _std zpqvBrgvzplz0SendFile32Ex4 on windows). Most OS's have it now, and it's readily admitted on the kernel-dev list that Linux's implementation is BROKEN
    • It's called TransmitFile() on Windows
    • The kernel-dev list says no such thing. Other systems send a header with the call, which both avoids an extra syscall and means you don't get nagled. On Linux, the extra syscall isn't heavy and TCP_CORK avoids getting Nagled. Some idiots who posted to linux-kernel said the linux version was broken, but Alan Cox, Linus, and Dave Miller all pointed them at cork.
    • The generic solution is splice, which Stephen Tweedie is rumored to be implementing for 2.3. That will rock.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but the fact that the NFS server is in the Linux kernel is responsible for many rooted boxes, is it not? I certainly wouldn't want anything running in kernel space which doesn't need to, especially something so easily accessible.
  • I believe IBM introduced into AIX 4.3.x some system calls that allow you to read from disk then send over the network without having to copy from kernel space into user space and back again. That should speed up static web page serving and even FTP's. There is no reason why this should cause security problems, as long as you are not allowed to modify the buffer contents.
  • 1) I'm building a Microsoft-centric solution. Once you start building an ASP-based solution, you're stuck. You have nowhere else to turn. The cost of converting to Perl or JavaScript is just too high. You've walled yourself into a proprietary solution. OK, first off, there's nothing to stop you writing Javascript or Perl ASP, IIS is flexible enough to allow you to slot in any ECMCA (never can remember the acyronm, but you know what I mean!) language. So take your pick, if you pick VB script it's your own damned fault. 2) It's what I know. Microsoft makes a lot of money on the database server and workgroup server market, because "any idiot can use it". What are you basing "any idiot can use it" on? Because it has a GUI interface? You try configuring SQL 6.5, not the easiest thing in the world when you get down to the nitty gritty. SQL 7.0 is beautiful, self optimisation is a wonderful implentation. I've used Netscape, Apache and IIS for hosting, and came to the following conclusion 1) Netscape sucks. Simple as that. Anything that needed restarting once a day was too unreliable to use. And this was under Irix, we're not talking the NT version here. 2) Apache is cute. But thats it, cute. It's handy for running a server throwing up static pages, and for creating lots of little web sites with their own IP addresses. 3) IIS makes it so smooth in integrate databases, I'm not just talking SQL or Access here. I've got a site internally that queries an AS/400. ASP gives me the flexibility for what I want, along with access to Perl should I need it, and the option of standard CGI and ISAPI DLLs which run like the wind. I've never seem any of the unstability that you all like to tout. Baz
  • Oh fudge :) You can tell I'm not awake enough yet, excuse the poor formatting!

  • 45 days? What someone coding that in? GO on offer evidence and not just incompentance on an IIS admin's part.

    No I don't work in Redmond, I don't have stack, or even stock in MS, and I don't do NT administration.


  • IIS is a free download. Of course there is the cost of NT to run it on.


  • SOURCE: l&id=1387 []

    Mind you, this is the german -> babelfish -> english translation, so be warned. A yoda filter would be just as correct.

    The competitor star Office: " those will not remain in the market. "

    Linux: " one of the five problems, which employ me before falling asleep. But I sleep nevertheless still quite well.

    " Apache is simply better "
    " do not offer if we with our servers enough features, which justify our prices, are we ourselves debt. Apache is simply better than we, if it concerns, several Sites on a server version to hosten. Windows 2000 will solve, says this problem " Ballmer. [ the free ] ApacheServer holds with a market share of 57 per cent. Microsoft is with scarce 23 % of the server market because of second place.

  • Of course it isnt the wrong way if you can accept the performance hit, but if you're after blazing fast performance then you should just use plain files. The overhead from dynamic generation will be far higher than the overhead from a generic filesystem. It will also make any form of caching far less effective, both client side and server side, further reducing performance.

    This was about performance, not usability and features :).
  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:37AM (#1873288)
    No, a webserver does not need any lowlevel kernel access to speed it up. Apache can easily saturate most connections without a problem.

    If you have performance problems with your webserver you're either doing it The Wrong Way, with user customizations, dynamic content generation, etc, in which case lowlevel access wouldn't help one bit, or you can simply place a reverse webcache in front of the webserver, which is actually optimized for serving plain pages as fast as possible.

    Sure you can optimize a bit and get better results on benchmarks. But the idea of kernel access simply sacrifices stability and simplicity for no practical gains.
  • by Vryl ( 31994 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @09:15AM (#1873289) Journal
    a la IBM


    and that is all that matters.

    This will be m$ 'open source' stategy . . . watch it!

    "yeah, we have open source . . . apache, perl, java, python, they all run on NT
  • by Twinky ( 32219 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:41AM (#1873290)
    Here are the important quotes from the original page:

    "If we don't offer enough features at our servers, that justify our prices, it is our own fault. Apache is simply better than us, regarding hosting of multiple sites on one serverversion."

    "StarOffice will not stay on the market."

    About Linux:
    "One of the five problems that bother me before I sleep. But I still sleep rather well."

    About the trial:
    "We broke no law. We will not join the fate of IBM, ten years trial and at the end loss of marketleadership."

    "Cool Company. We will fight aggressively with AOL for marketshares."

    There will be no Office 2000 for Apple. (Wait for 2001)
    2 Million TestUsers didn't find many bugs in the past five months. M$ is now counting on the customers for that matter.
  • >I'm not surprised that a Netscape employee won't
    >admit this, but there are lots of benchmarks from
    >unbiased sources that show IIS to reign surpreme
    >serving in both the static and dynamic web page >arenas.

    I did unleash a little fury on IIS [], didn't I. I didn't mean to turn this thread into IIS bashing. I've just had some really bad experiences with IIS. It's way too integrated into the operating system for my taste. (Anytime that you are using the operating system's user database to authentiate web users, something is just plain wrong.) And the fact that the operating system that it is integrated into is NT just makes it worse. It's just not stable, manageable, or scalable enough.

    Your claim that IIS is the fastest webserver is pure flamebait. If you would like to point me to a URL, I'd be happy to look at it. But, I'll guarantee that the fastest webserver isn't any webserver running on NT. Apache [], Zeus [], and Netscape [] can all crush IIS, simply by the fact that they can run on high-end UNIX machines [] with a dozen or more processors.

    It doesn't really matter anyway though. I doubt that anyone makes their choice of web servers based on performance tests anyway. The difference in performance is small enough that features, managability, and stability are going to be decision points.

    For those of you who brought up PHP []'s effect on the webserver comparisons, I concede that PHP may be significant development. To be honest, I don't know enough of the details about PHP to comment on its strengths and weaknesses. I'm a servlet kind of guy myself, so I haven't checked it out. But it does seem to be a simpler solution than mod_perl. (Not that Perl isn't cool.) At first look, it just looked like another server-side scripting language to me. Which is cool in it's own right since it's open source. But people tell me that it rocks.

    By the way, since I didn't explicitly say it before: my opinions are mine, not Netscape's. I don't work on the development team for Enterprise server, and am not a professional webmaster either, so my opinion probably isn't any good anyway.

  • Ballmer is not saying that Apache is better, merely conceding the virtual hosting market to Apache. Which Apache wins hands down. His remarks are an interesting insight into the competition between the three major webservers. You have only three serious competitors: IIS, Netscape Enterprise Server, and Apache. And each has its own niche that it dominates in, leaving only a small intersection of real competition.

    Apache is an interesting success story. It's one of the most successful open source projects of all time. Apache dominates certain spaces of the web server market, such as the virtual hosting space that Ballmer is conceding, along with the ISP market, and the "Slashdot" space. By the Slashdot space, I mean sites that have highly talented administrators and programmers, lots of traffic, but little money. mod_perl gives Apache an enormous adantages. Shashdot is doing things in mod_perl that other webservers can only offer through expensive application servers. But Apache is reasonably complicated, especially when you starting adding things like mod_perl to the mix. If you know what you are doing, it's great, but there's an intimidating learning curve.

    Netscape Enterprise Server Since I work for Netscape I won't say much about Netscape's webserver, since people would think that I'm too biased anyway. But, in short, Netscape seems to cover the exact opposite of Apache's market. People who have the money to spend on a webserver (Netscape is the only webserver you have to pay money for), and are willing to pay that money in exchange for easier manageability and a formal support agreement.

    Microsoft's IIS is the most interesting of the three. It's the quicksand solution. There are only three reasons to use IIS:

    1. It was pre-installed on my server. What a lame reason. But lots of people use IIS for a workgroup solution because of this reason.
    2. I'm building a Microsoft-centric solution. Once you start building an ASP-based solution, you're stuck. You have nowhere else to turn. The cost of converting to Perl or JavaScript is just too high. You've walled yourself into a proprietary solution.
    3. It's what I know. Microsoft makes a lot of money on the database server and workgroup server market, because "any idiot can use it".

    In short, M$'s webserver is a piece of crap. And everyone knows it, but some people are in a world where they either don't care, or don't have a choice.

    So Ballmer can concede the virtual hosting market all that he wants. It doesn't matter to him. Those people need a real solution anyway. His customers are the uneducated and the ones that are boxed in to M$ solutions.

    The competition between Apache and Netscape is interesting because they so rarely compete. The best way to sum up this up is to quote a sysadmin friend of mine. He said, "If I was going to run a website myself, I'd pick Apache. It's powerful and fast and stable. But if I had to run a site for a company, I'd pick Netscape. Hiring people qualified with whatever flavor or Perl/Apache/UNIX/mod_perl I choose is too hard and too expensive."

    I don't know if I agree with him completely. The actual feature to feature comparison is interesting, but I'm too biased to make that comparison here. But it shows the marketplace's attitude: that the decision between Apache and Netscape is a choice between whether to spend money on a product or on administrators.

  • Migrating for Apache to IIS is rather difficult anyway (from IIS to Apache is a nightmare). IIS does a lot of silly stuff like making the directory default documents default.asp and default.htm instead of index.html, index.htm, and index.shtml. (Granted this can be changed in IIS, but it just under what menu option is always the difficult part.) Even if you get by that there are other annoyances, like making sure all the *.shtml get properly processed. IIS also locks down files at the System level, which makes updating files next to impossible without restarting the server (or in one case I had to reboot the machine), unless you use either FrontPage98 or Interdev 6.0. Funny how they can work but the file manager won't. It also has the annoyance of suddenly stopping without reason. But NT does this as well. Better not to use IIS anyway, especally if your already using apache. The community really ought to work on making the IIS to Apache transistion easier, so more people will use Apache, which is much better than IIS.
  • The Em-Ballmer is not going to praise anymore than he has to. Just last night I saw a newscast where someone was supposed to have spoken at a meeting about something or other but I couldn't tell what because all the footage they "chose" to put on the news went something like. "I don't know what their plan is. If you want to have change you have to, but I still can't see..."

    Ballmer is kissing up to the DOJ. Think about this. Later on in the trial they'll say that Ballmer praised Apache. They'll never show the whole content of the message, it's in German newspapers, and I don't think courts recognize slashdot as being in the same league (never mind beyond) as MSNBC,NBC,CNBC,BBC,ABC,CBS,... ad newseaum. Nobody is going to go looking for the article through us, lest they be influenced by our opinions...

    He'll probably say "I thought it was good". Since most people only get sound bites from actual speeches, his comment will subliminally be equivalent to a speech that includes talk of speeds, features, config wizards.

  • If your company has the cash flow to do this. That's great. But most of them(The MS core client) doesn't. Like mine. We run our website on a single pentium MMX 150 MHZ. Windows must be restart once in a while, cause be have a FEW hit/sec.

    By the way, i don't care if IIS beats Apache on a specific harware in a specific situation. I want the Overall performance for the overall situation.


  • It's all about attention and credibility.

    The attention is now mostly focused on Linux and the recently released RedHat 6.0 which is a real Windows killer.

    Journalists are writing warm articles about Linux and these articles will be even warmer when they have runned their RedHat 6.0 for a while.

    Redmond is now doing everything in their power to get the attention back on Microsoft. Even if they have to admit that a competing product is better in some way. It also gives Mr Ballmer and Microsoft some increased credibility.

    Well we have just been giving them some attention.

    Some might also have got the impression that Microsoft isn't just delivering a pack of lies. That's increased credibility.

    I think they kind of succeded with their scam.

  • My NT Machine was up for 2 Months without Getting A Blue Screen or A Reboot,
    NT Is OK until You Install A Services Pack, So one has a choice Security(With SP) or Reliability(Without SP)

    Now I Run LINUX and I Get Both Security And Reliability.
  • "do not offer if we with our servers enough features, which justify our prices, are we ourselves debt. Apache is simply better than we, if it concerns, several Sites on a server to hosten".
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Monday May 31, 1999 @05:50AM (#1873299) Journal
    Personally, I don't want my web server running in the kernel. If the web server crashes, I just want it to take down the web server, not the entire box.

    Where Apache shines is it's ability to run on low-cost multi-process commodity boxes. I've been running Apache on a quad-processor M88K box for years, long before Micros~1 knew what SMP (or the Internet for that matter) stood for.

    Basically, if you are that worried about performance, for the money you save from not buying NT server, go buy more processors or memory. But if your web site gets that much traffic to make this an issue, remember that neither IIS nor NT scale well on a single box. Their answer is to throw additional servers (and licenses of course) at the problem.

  • That's irrelevant. I was once very naughty and
    curious and decided to port scan
    with nmap... and guess what... OS was some *BSD.
    After few tries I got one NT result.

  • It is a common technique to point out a few of your small flaws to establish honesty so that everything else you say is believed as well.

    Next time Steve says that Windows * is better than linux, he wants people to say: "Steve Balmer acknowledges when other products are better than MS products, therefore this statement must be true"
  • What I love about Apache, and something I know IIS will never adopt is the simple configuration file (now down to one file in Apache 1.3.x). If you've ever cloned a website, you know how handy a config file is! With IIS, (and even Netscape's products), your only option is to fill out the same forms, click the same buttons on a stupid property sheet (while sitting at that server's desktop). With Apache, ssh or ftp the config file to your target machine, and you're done! Simpler is better, you MS guys!

    And really, why would you want to run a web server on any level of DOS filesystem?
  • Actually PC Mag's last issue featured Web Server and Server OS combo bencmarkings. For DYNAMIC pages using ISAPI scripting like ASP the IIS/NT combo was by far the best combo. PHP's next installment (3.1) due out soon will support ISAPI in Apache and should level the playing field.

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger